Nanded: In a shocking development, at least 24 persons, including 12 infants, have died in the past 24 hours at a government hospital Nanded, Maharashtra, triggering strong reactions from the opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), here on Monday.
According to officials, among the dead are at least 12 infants aged between 2 and 4 days, while the remaining are adults in some cases of ‘poisoning’ at the Dr. Shankarrao Chavan Government Medical College & Hospital.
Though the hospital authorities have been evasive on the large number of fatalities in such a short time, the opposition parties have attacked the government of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, demanding the sacking/resignation of Health Minister Tanaji Sawant.
The Dean of the hospital, S. Wakode, told mediapersons that six male and six female babies succumbed to various causes, while another 12 adults died, mostly from snake-bites.
He claimed that many patients came from far-off places and the hospital faced issues of procuring the right medicines for them in time amid budgeting constraints, and other issues.
Ex-CM and senior Congress leader from Nanded, Ashok Chavan, said that besides these deaths, another 70 patients, referred from other private hospitals in the district, are reported to be ‘serious’.
“I spoke with the hospital Dean who said there was shortage of nursing and medical staffers, certain equipment are not working and certain departments are not operational for various reasons. This is a very grave issue,” said Chavan.
Shiv Sena (UBT) Deputy Leader Sushma Andhare alleged negligence and referred to similar deaths of 18 patients in Thane’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Government Hospital in mid-August.
“Its clear that Health Minister Sawant is ineffective and the CM should either take his resignation or sack him,” said Andhare.
Slamming the government, Nationalist Congress Party MP Supriya Sule strongly condemned the mass deaths, saying: “This triple-engine government is responsible for all the 24 innocent persons’ deaths.”
NCP spokesperson Vikas Lawande said that the deaths occurred due to negligence and lack of medical supplies by the government and “woe betide the government that advertises festivals and events”.
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